A descendant of Thomas Jefferson wants the Washington, DC, memorial to be removed because the Founding Father and his ancestor “owned more than 600 slaves,” The New York Times reported.
In an opinion piece published in The New York Times, Lucian K Truscott IV, a journalist and descendent of Jefferson wrote that Jefferson’s motto was “all men are created equal,” and yet his ancestor “never did much to make those words come true.”
Truscott detailed how he and his brother, “the great-grandsons,” of Jefferson, saw the Jefferson Memorial stating they took it for granted as children, due to the fact that they used to play at Jefferson’s ancestral home, Monticello.
“It was where all of our great-grandparents and great-aunts and great-uncles were buried, and where one day, we were told, we would be buried, too.”
“We didn’t need the Jefferson Memorial. Monticello was enough.”
Truscott added: “It’s still enough. In fact, as a memorial to Jefferson himself, it’s almost perfect. And that is why his memorial in Washington should be taken down and replaced. Described by the National Park Service as ‘a shrine to freedom,’ it is anything but.”
Truscott describes the memorial as an altar for a man who, “during his lifetime, owned more than 600 slaves and had at least six children with one of them, Sally Hemings.”
“Upon his death, he did not free the people he enslaved, other than those in the Hemings family, some of whom were his own children,” he added. “He sold everyone else to pay off his debts.”
Protesters across the U.S. have taken to the streets since the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. The demonstrators have called for the removal of statues of Columbus, Confederate figures, and others. The reasoning behind their demands is they claim the Italian explorer is responsible for the genocide and exploitation of native peoples in the Americas.
Anewspost recently reported how protesters over Independence Day weekend tore down a statue of Christopher Colombus in Baltimore, Maryland. There was also a case in June where protesters hung a confederate statue from a street light in Raleigh, North Carolina. While in Wisconsin an anti-slavery war hero statue of Col. Hans Christian Heg was also vandalized.
U.S. President Donald Trump has denounced the removal of monuments and signed an executive order to create a garden of “American Heroes” in response to the fallen statues. Trump also previously said that vandals of statues could be charged under the Veterans Memorial Preservation or “such other laws that may be pertinent,” threatening 10 years in prison for offenders as Anewspost reported.